Informative lineup for EW conference


The Electronic Warfare South Africa 2017 International Conference and Exhibition is due to delve deeply into the art and science of electronic warfare next month, with a varied lineup of speakers examining everything from the effectiveness of chaff to artificial intelligence in electronic warfare.

The EW SA 2017 conference will feature 28 presentations from military, the government, academia, industry and research and development institutions; 13 exhibitions from industry; nine academic presentations by masters students, four international speakers, three pre-conference workshops, and a flight simulator.

The conference takes place between 6 and 8 November at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) in Pretoria and is hosted by the Association of Old Crows (AOC) Aardvark Roost Chapter.


A number of workshops will cover the nitty gritty of the electronic warfare world. On 6 November, Warren du Plessis, Associate Professor, University of Pretoria, will host a workshop entitled “Hands-on Introduction to Radar,” which will give practical demonstrations on radar, stealth, jamming and other electronic warfare techniques.

Jan-Hendrik (Mossie) Basson, from Survival Electronics, will give a workshop on The Analysis of Electronic Intelligence (ELINT) data, while also on 6 November Dr Dirk Baker, from dB Consulting, will discuss antenna measurement techniques and facilities, including an overview of anechoic chamber facilities in South Africa.

Day two

The second day of the conference, on 7 November, comprises presentations on a wide range of topics. South African Navy Rear Admiral Guy Jamieson will be talking about surface warfare and EW in the missile age and lessons to be learned from an SA Navy historical perspective.

Defence Analyst Helmoed Römer-Heitman’s presentation, entitled ‘Asymmetric Electrons: From Altigator to Olympic Games,’ will cover electronic warfare in all its forms, from intelligence gathering through jamming to electronic or digital attack and the new threats present.

Molahlegi Molope from Armscor will examine the challenges of pulse radar for the electronic warfare community; Knut-Olof Jonsson from Saab will look at trends in airborne countermeasure dispensing; Sarel Roets from Aerosud will explore airborne platforms; Professor Warren du Plessis will give a talk on artificial intelligence and machine learning applications in electronic warfare; and Saab’s Linda Klevard will talk about the EW technology, threats and requirements for next generation fighter aircraft.

Rudolf Staedelin, Sales Manager at RUAG Schweiz AG, will look at the effectiveness of chaff and how it stands up to increased and more sophisticated radar threats. Other presentations on 7 November will see Jabu Mtsweni from the CSIR look at the opportunities and implications of cyber warfare 4.0 meeting electronic warfare, Dr Sue Robertson from the UK AOC Chapter exploring the role of the Global Association of Old Crows in EW and a representative from the South African Air Force’s 16 Squadron talking about airborne operations.

Day three

One of the topics that is sure to be well received on day three of the conference is Dr Francois Maasdorp’s coverage of passive radar research and development in South Africa. The CSIR is running a three-year project to establish a passive radar testbed facility and this will be explored in depth, along with an examination of passive radar applications, challenges and capabilities.

After Maasdorp’s presentation, Daniel O’Hagan, Associate Professor in Radar at the University of Cape Town, will look at the electronic countermeasures that can be applied against passive radar, such as noise jamming, deception jamming, and diverse-signal jamming.

Darren Nicholls from Keysight Technologies will look at how modern test and measurement equipment can be used to recreate real world radar and communication signals within the laboratory.

Bertus Theron, Optical Test & Evaluation Specialist at the CSIR will examine warfare in the optical part of the electromagnetic spectrum, such as surveillance, threat detection, ranging, weapons guidance and high-energy laser weapons.

Other presentations on 8 November will cover the AREND unmanned aerial vehicle (Dr Lelanie Smith, Lecturer at University of Pretoria); the increasing complexity of electronic signals (Wimpie van den Berg, Chief Engineer product development, GEW Technologies); advances in signal processing (Abel van der Merwe, Managing Member, Sysdel); and electronic warfare trends and strategic influences (Christo Cloete, RF EW Systems Engineer, CSIR DPSS).

In addition to the workshops and presentations, academic presentations will take place to make the EW community aware of relevant research at universities and to encourage interaction between the EW community and students. The universities of Stellenbosch, Pretoria, and North-West will be represented on 7 and 8 November.

A dozen exhibitors and sponsors will be showcasing their solutions and technologies, including GEW, Saab Grintek Defence, Armscor, Alaris Antennas, the CSIR, Mateq, Comtech, Comtest, Concilium Technologies, Parsec, Peralex, Tamashi Technology Investments, and the Centurion Aerospace Village.